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A person stands on the deck of the Black Rock Oceanfront Resort in Ucluelet

Snug and Scenic Winter Stays in BC

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Black Rock Oceanfront Resort in Ucluelet | Jordan Dyck

Take your sourdough skills to a mountain retreat, your video calls into the woods, and your e-readers to cozy cabins with ocean views. Or, break up the typical routine, unplug, and let BC’s nature take care of the rest. Whatever your style this winter, find a new place to call home.

Redefine "Winter Blues" With Waterfront Stays & Storm Watching

Slow walks across the sprawling beaches of BC’s coast or storm watching from your own private oceanside hot tub are sure ways to sink mind and body into a calm, relaxed mood. Escape the stress of daily routines and recalibrate with time spent in BC’s healing natural surroundings.

An ocean front viewing deck from the Oak Bay Beach hotel. The waves crash in front.
Oak Bay Beach Hotel | Jordan Dyck

On Vancouver Island

Book a room at The Oak Bay Beach Hotel, located just outside Victoria, for an oceanside luxury boutique stay. Here, the heated mineral pools overlook the Salish Sea and the unmistakable snow-capped peak of Mount Baker. Hang poolside in assigned lounge chairs before tucking into a relaxing sea-view room. Near Courtenay, about an hour’s drive north of Nanaimo, stay at Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa. Visit in January and get access to a magical garden adorned with hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights, open to resort guests only.

For winter storm watchers and surf seekers, Pacific Sands Beach Resort in Tofino has an on-site Surf Shack for rentals and lessons, and Surfside Grill serves up fish tacos perfect for post-surf refueling. For a “front row” storm watching experience, book the Storm Watchers package at The Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino, or check into the Black Rock Oceanfront Resort for their Storm Watching specials. Here, rooms perch above the rocky cliffs in Ucluelet and access to the Wild Pacific Trail is out the front door. For a funky, hip and retro stay, newly opened Hotel Zed in Tofino is a must.

Whistler Peak 2 Peak Gondola | Andrew Strain

In Whistler

The forecast is calling for a La Niña winter, which for mountain towns around BC means a steady flow of storm cycles—and lots of snow gracing mountain tops. Plan a Whistler getaway to truly embrace the season and head into, quite literally, the elements.

Seek shelter from the spectacle from inside the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola. Soar between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains while watching the storms roll over the Spearhead Range, perhaps from one of the glass-bottom cabins that offer a 1,427-foot view down.

Check into Whistler’s only lakeside hotel, Nita Lake Lodge, and snuggle up to the indoor fireplace at Cure Lounge for a post-storm-watching cocktail with a lake view. Or, head to the Four Seasons Resort & Residences Whistler for another respite at the newly opened Braidwood Tavern and après with their aptly named “Storm in a Glass” cocktail.

On the Sunshine Coast

Discover beachfront properties and the lush rainforest of the Sunshine Coast along Highway 101, from Gibsons to Lund, and see which cozy spot calls out to you. For those coming from Vancouver Island, Powell River is just a BC Ferries sailing away from Comox, while Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal in West Vancouver offers access from the mainland via Langdale.

Aerial view of Pointhouse Suites, a house on the water with a large dock that extends out into the water.
Pointhouse Suites on the Sunshine Coast | Pointhouse Suites/Dolf Vermeulen

On the southern Sunshine Coast, the newly built ISO Suite at the Pointhouse Suites on Sargeant Bay is a wonder. Made from two, 20-foot shipping containers, this light-filled glass box in the forest sits on a stunning oceanview property just steps from Sargeant Bay.

Stay in Powell River, right on the water, and walk the coastline along the scenic Willingdon Beach Trail to a sprawling waterfront park and onwards to the Historic Townsite district.

In Lund, stay in a custom, hand-crafted cabin that juts out over the ocean at Lund Harbour House. Start the day with a stroll along the boardwalk to your dinner reservation in the harbour, followed by a moody, coastal walk in the rainforest before ending the day at your chosen hideaway.

Lie Back Lakeside in Wine Country

Sparkling, fresh water dots the rolling landscape in BC’s Interior, where lakeview stays and winery tasting rooms are around every corner. Plan a self-guided tour or booking tasting appointments and table reservations in advance to safely sip and taste your way around BC’s wine regions with ease.

Two people walk on a snowy pathway facing away towards to the camera to the Hotel Eldorado
Hotel Eldorado | Tourism Kelowna/ Meghan Reading

Near Kelowna & Kamloops

Just north of Kelowna, seek old-world charm at Hotel Eldorado. Steeped in rich history as one of the social hubs way back in the 1950s and 60s, the hotel offers rooms overlooking the marina and dining at their award-winning restaurant.

Find more water-view rooms in Kelowna at The Cove Lakeside Resort, The Royal Kelowna, and the Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort and enjoy strolls along the shoreline of Okanagan Lake with a view of snowy surroundings. And while you can’t dip into the lake this early in the season, consider dipping in and out of right-in-town wine tasting rooms instead (self-led, or book a wine tour).

For a cabin escape close to Kelowna, tour around the shores of Okanagan Lake and stay at Chute Lake Lodge.

In Kamloops, take in views of snow-dusted Mount Paul and the mighty Thompson River from a boutique bed and breakfast or downtown hotel. Hike or fat-bike the local trails before wandering the Kamloops Wine Trail to visit wineries with sprawling views and spacious tasting rooms.

Lobby of Quaaout Lodge & Spa @ebspaj7

Less than 100 kilometres east of Kamloops, discover more off-the-beaten-path locales in the Shuswap, at the northern tip of the Okanagan. Book a stay at Indigenous-owned Quaaout Lodge & Spa and lay back on a private patio overlooking Little Shuswap Lake, then follow locally designed Taste Trail itineraries to visit the wineries, distilleries, breweries, and restaurants of this bountiful region, which also offers plenty of opportunities to snowshoe local trails or fresh-air glide on frozen lakes.

In the South Okanagan

The sprawling, fertile landscape here means a high availability of locally sourced ingredients, even in winter. Acclaimed restaurants in this region offer travellers a chance to pair dining experiences with lakeview stays, as well as delicious local wine tasting.

A frozen landscape with a lake and mountains in the distance, Naramata in wintertime
Naramata, near Penticton | @letree

Book a winter wine tour to discover the wineries of Penticton and make a trip here a culinary- and vineyard-focused lakeside vacation. Penticton Lakeside Resort sits along waterfront walking paths and hosts the Hooded Merganser restaurant on the water. Book a room in their new West Wing expansion for incredible views of the south Okanagan landscape.

In Osoyoos, check into the Walnut Beach Resort for rooms overlooking the lake and make dinner reservations at their Pointe 49 Kitchen & Bar. Bonus: Snowy adventures await at nearby Baldy Mountain Resort.

For an entirely different surrounding, rest easy at Spirit Ridge perched on a desert landscape of sagebrush hills in Osoyoos. Learn about living Indigenous culture with a self-guided tour at the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre and sip on wine from the on-site winery, Nk’Mip Cellars.

Cozy Up With Mountain Views

Spending time in the mountains offers a chance to gain perspective, which is especially appreciated come the new year. Enjoying snowy surroundings with views of massive mountain peaks can help bring clarity, ease stress, and offer grounding to restless souls. Curl up fireside and know these sleeping giants are watching over you, whichever area of BC you choose to cozy up in.

Emerald Lake Lodge in Yoho National Park | Keri Medig

Eastern Mountain Ranges

Experience the quainter, simpler side of life nestled in the mountains of the Kootenay Rockies in cozy stays and hot springs resorts. In the mountain town of Fernie, book one of six newly built tiny homes at Snow Valley Lodging. Looking for a bit more space? Fernie Lodging Company has more than 100 different lodges, chalets, and individual studio suites for varying tastes. Out the door, or from the window, all stays in Fernie come with a view of the Three Sisters mountains.

Nestled in one of the most stunning mountain parks in Canada, historic Emerald Lake Lodge in Yoho National Park is nothing short of iconic. Guests here can stay overnight in one of 24 cabin-style buildings perched on a 13-acre peninsula of jade-coloured Emerald Lake, adorned with century-old fireplaces and salvaged wood from a 1890s Yukon saloon.

For a true backcountry feel, check yourself into Lodgen Lodge in Ymir, just 20 minutes from downtown Nelson. At the foot of the Selkirk Mountains, four cabins with rustic, luxury comforts are tucked into the woods. Pack all your favourite goodies for a cozy dinner in and curl up next to the wood stove as night falls and the deep cold sets in.

American Creek Lodge | @americancreeklodge

Coastal Mountain Ranges

The cabins at Sunwolf are a dreamy escape in Squamish, perched along the confluence of the Cheakamus and Cheekeye rivers. Listen to their soothing rush from bed when you book nights in The Logger’s Shack or Fisherman’s Cottage and enjoy a modern, Scandinavian-style stay. Wake up and stumble over to the architectural wonder of Fergie’s Cafe, seemingly suspended in the forest with a view of the Coast Mountains, for morning eggs benny and a cup of joe.

The newly opened American Creek Lodge, just outside Hope, is also an ideal place for a scenic getaway. This modern, mountaintop escape has a view of the Fraser River and Fraser Canyon, rivalling some of the top vistas in the province.

Pair Sweeping Snowy Scenes with Outdoor Adventures

Noise is dampened in a snowy landscape, offering a natural sense of calm. Vistas of rolling hills, sweeping ranchlands, and frozen lakes covered in a soft layer of fresh snow invite slow, quiet walks, mindful treks, and serene cross-country glides. Let the stress levels dissipate and head for the spacious snowy landscapes with winter adventures out the front door.

Winter Ranch Stays

Indigenous-owned Big Bar Guest Ranch, northwest of Kamloops and just outside the small town of Clinton, has a team of staff maintaining two ice rinks, snowshoe and cross-country ski trails, and ice-fishing holes so you can choose your own adventure every morning. Warm up with hot cocoa around the Log Home’s indoor fire before tucking into a private log cabin of your own every night.

Wettstone Guest Ranch | Jonny Bierman
Wettstone Guest Ranch in the Cariboo | Jonny Bierman

Take a snowy trot at Wettstone Guest Ranch in the south Cariboo, or cozy up with some charcuterie and wine in your cedar cabin at Nakiska Ranch, north of Clearwater near Wells Gray. Spend the quiet morning searching for moose and other winter wildlife in the snowy landscapes or opt to sit back and keep your eyes open for whatever happens by. Staff can help you line up nearby activities including snowshoeing, snowmobiling, ice skating, and ice fishing.

Myra Canyon Ranch, perched high above Kelowna, offers horseback riding out the ranch door. Take in a snowy, winter trail ride before curling up in one of their self-contained suites.

Access to Snowy Trails

In the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast, pair snug stays with backcountry trails for perfectly balanced winter wonderland escapes. Choose to stay in the small towns and hideaways that dot the Gold Rush Trail, such as 100 Mile House or Horsefly.

For snowmobilers, access the nearby Gold Rush Snowmobile Trail; resort owners can help outfit guests to explore this 170-kilometre backcountry route between Horsefly and 70 Mile House.

Two night skiers on a cross country ski trail in the forest
Night skiing with 100 Mile Nordics | Jonny Bierman

At Spring Lake Ranch, borrow cross-country skis or snowshoes and journey around the lake, or pre-book a snowmobile from the lodge to explore the wilderness surrounding your log cabin stay. Nearby, cross-country skiers can access another 45 kilometres of trails at the 100 Mile Nordic Ski Society, including 2.5 kilometres of lit trails for night skiing.

Looking for glamping heaven with a scenic view? Head south to Salmon Arm’s  Tin Poppy Retreat for nights in a solar-powered, 35-foot, 1950s caravan trailer. Guests here can cross-country ski a wide-open network of trails at Larch Hills before relaxing in the wood-fired sauna or around the outdoor fire pit.

Two hours north of Prince George, uncrowded Powder King Mountain Resort, with dry, light snowfalls, is perfect for laps on untracked runs followed by cozy stays in your own private A-frame.

In Terrace, book into Hidden Acre Farm and Treehouse Resort and have easy access to downhill skiing at Shames Mountain for unmatched power runs.

How to Stay Safe and Responsible When Booking Accommodation Stays

Familiarize yourself with how to travel safely and responsibly, read up on winter driving tips, and check road conditions before you travel. We all have a role to play in keeping travels in British Columbia safe and enjoyable for all.

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